[Art_beyond_sight_educators] John Gardner in Nature, SUNY, MIT

fnugg at online.no fnugg at online.no
Thu Aug 29 13:02:06 UTC 2013

Deal boosts blind's access to texts

However, whether publishers will take full advantage of the 
opportunities offered by EPUB 3 to make graphics and equations 
accessible remains a concern, says John Gardner, a solid-state physicist 
and founder of ViewPlus Technologies in Corvallis, Oregon. Gardner lost 
his sight at the age of 48 and has since dedicated his talents to 
developing assistive software and devices to make scientific content 
more accessible to the blind.

Even if publishers do widely embrace EPUB 3's accessibility features, 
another big unknown is whether e-readers and other devices will support 
them. Amazon's Kindle reader, for example, provides access to a vast 
library, including classics such as /Molecular Biology of the Cell/ (5th 
edn, Garland Science, 2012), but is "still not fully accessible", says 


SUNY optometry student develops art program for blind adults

Shaista Vally, a second-year student at SUNY College of Optometry, has 
developed the SUNY Blind Art Program, a unique new art workshop for 
blind and visually impaired adults that will launch this summer at the 
college's midtown Manhattan campus.

Supported by a grant from the Optometric Center of New York, the Blind 
Art Program is a four-session tactile art workshop that will be 
conducted on Saturdays in the college's new Center for Student Life and 
Learning. The course is designed specifically for adults with no 
previous art experience. Many of Vally's fellow SUNY students will act 
as artist assistants during the workshop to help participants with their 


Professor's work allows blind to 'see' photographs

Thanks to a program created by one of her coworkers, Terri Hedgpeth is 
one step closer to being able to enjoy family pictures or scenic 

Hedgpeth, along with an estimated more than six million other blind 
adults in the U.S., could benefit from the tactile photographs created 
by Baoxin Li, a professor at ASU's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. 
The photographs, which are printed on a special paper, have raised edges 
that allow the blind to feel the shapes and textures pictured.


Sensing systems for robots could help blind navigate
Other new navigation systems for the blind include MIT's EyeRing 
<http://fluid.media.mit.edu/people/suranga/current/eyering.html>, which 
uses a small camera worn as a ring that can be pointed at objects to 
"see" or "hear" more information about it. The ring takes a picture or a 
video that is then sent wirelessly to a mobile phone, where software 
analyzes the content and reads out an answer.

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